The objective of emergency is to avoid Budget 2021 being sabotaged

(Malaysiakini) – The goal of imposing emergency was to avoid Budget 2021 from being defeated and put a pause on political squabbles, reported The Star.

Citing sources from Putrajaya, the report said only “political activities” would be affected if Putrajaya manages to convince the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency.

“With a state of emergency, Parliament will no longer be in effect,” an anonymous political observer told The Star.

“The budget would be presented to the cabinet, and it can be approved without voting from all 222 members of Parliament (MPs).”

The report by The Star, a newspaper controlled by MCA that is part of the federal government, also suggested that even had Budget 2021 been defeated, it does not mean that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s cabinet had to resign.

Citing constitutional expert Shad Saleem Faruqi, the report said that while it is a convention for the rejection of government bills to be treated as a no-confidence vote, there was no strict law which said a prime minister had to resign in such an event.

Former UK prime minister Theresa May, for instance, saw several bills rejected during her tenure and was not pressured to resign, he said.

“Even if the budget is rejected, it can be tabled again a few days later, maybe with some tweaks. The cabinet does not need to step down,” said Shad.

The Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to reconvene on Nov 2. Budget 2021 is scheduled to be tabled on Nov 6 and the first round of voting on Nov 17.

As of the last Dewan Rakyat sitting, Muhyiddin should command the support of at least 113 MPs – just over half.

However, following the Sabah elections in September, Muhyiddin’s level of support was in doubt.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had publicly claimed that “many” Umno MPs no longer supported Muhyiddin, although this had never been proven.

However, Gua Musang MP and Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s apparent support for a no-confidence vote against Muhyiddin had raised eyebrows.